So if suffering is so good for us, why is it distributed so unevenly by your god? Why did my friend Judy, very very religious, loose one son via a bee sting and anaphylactic shock, her daughter in a car wreck, have her brother shoot her parents to death over a girlfriend issue (a girl that she introduced her brother to). And she is one of the most religious people I know, and was religious before any of this happened. While little old me, denier of any god whatsoever, with my healthy kids and my non-trauma filled life, have had none of that.
The book of Ecclesiastes contains the answer. "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." (Ecc 9:11 ASV)
Lucky you. Even the bible says it will happen by chance, over time, and so even though bad things appear random, they are not. Or something like that.
But random appears random to me. On top of that, science can explain and even predict that there will always (under current geological conditions) be more and bigger earthquakes in California and Japan than in Europe and western Africa, and medicine can, if you get to the doctor on time, save a person stung by a bee, all of this is nonetheless just random stuff allowed by god to confirm his or her existence. So while the randomness is allowed by god, and visible to people, it is god blessed and we just have to live with it.
Or it is random, but can be made to look otherwise by people who really really need it not to be truly random. Which is what I assume is closer to the truth.
I really cannot answer it better than that and this is somewhat what affected the child that fell into a well. We are all in the same boat, the good and the bad. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. When the Bible says "he makes their (his servants) path straight", it does not mean nothing bad will ever happen. It means they do not have to guess about what is good and what is bad. That path is straight.
The whole moral of the story is that man thinks he does not need God. Rather than doing something else God is allowing us to test our "theory". To an extent God has abandoned us. Not completely or we would all be without life. But he is allowing us to fully experience life without his protection. Man's theory cannot be tested if he places a hedge of protection around us, or even some of us, so that nothing bad happens. That would corrupt our experiment.
Okay, let me get this straight. I think that there is no god (which I assume translates into christian speak as "I think I do not need god). And your god is allowing me to test that theory by not letting a single serious bad thing happen to me my whole life. Now of course I ain't dead yet, so he still has a few weeks, but JC's pop is running out of time here, and as I go through life fully experiencing it without his protection, and as I get through it just fine, that is proof positive that I need him how?
Well, either his standards are low or mine are too high or something. But it ain't working. I know it doesn't do any good to complain to you, so I'll go straight to the big guy. Hey, god, if you are there, do something horrible to me so I can come to understand how much you love me and how much you care about me not only now but throughout all of infinity.
Of course, if you're not there, never mind.
Who can protect us from "time and chance"? Only God, but man is not in a place where God will offer his protection. If man wants his protection then man must return to God as the Prodigal Son returned to his father. The fact that the good suffer in this manner because of the bad only fills up his judgment that is coming upon the earth -- when mankind finally realizes it's folly. Unfortunately, the Bible shows this will not occur until it is too late and man is on the brink of extinction. This is when he will step in and seperate the good from the bad so that the good do not suffer the same fate and save us from extinction.
So in the meantime, since we aren't yet on the brink (I know, I know, we're like, you know, really really close to the brink), so close you can almost taste it, but we're not on the brink yet, and my friend Judy has gone through all kinds of hell while waiting. Time and chance and mucked up her life and her happiness in multitudinous ways while I've sailed through unscathed by all the hard work your god has put into testing us. And I, while waiting and not even knowing it because I'm a not a believer, have just been bored silly while waiting for something I don't think I'm waiting for.
A vegan bitch (we still have them, by the way) in the garden tasted the wrong fruit and suddenly all humankind is guilty of being class A sinners. And for 6,000 years we have sat around follyizing ourselves (except me, of course, because things have gone too well for me to notice) and any day now JC will pop back into existence, fix it up nice for the good guys and toss me and other disbelievers/sinners/wrong religionists into the frying pan of reality, because he loves us so frickin' much. So instead of not experiencing his protection (and getting along fine) I will experience his deliberate non-protection because I should have known that, things going well and all that, that I was cruising for a bruising, because nothing happened to me.
I think I've almost got it.
Those that are left will then fully experience his protection along with the multitudes he resurrects upon the earth that have died in the past, including the child that died in the well. Man will then have a demonstration of life under God's rule instead of man's. At the end of this 1000 demonstration, after mankind has been lifted to perfection, final judgment will be rendered and the issue will never be raised again.
So lets say for the sake of argument I become a christian this evening instead of going to the movies, and I'm all saved and stuff, and JC shows up on Wednesday and separates the wheat from the chaff and I get whisked off to some safe place while Jetson, Ron Jeremy, William, Graybeard, screwtape, et al, get stir fried via instructions from a loving but pissed god.
How will I know the difference? Other than not having access to the forum, I mean? If nothing bad happened before the return, and nothing bad happens after the return, won't it just seem like another day to me? How is that a lesson? And am I going to end up being bored for all of eternity? If so, that really sucks, man.